Electronic Arts’ mobile revenue climbs 19% to $70 million in holiday quarter

Electronic Arts’ mobile revenues climbed 19 percent to $70 million in company’s third quarter, up from $59 million in the same quarter a year earlier. Smartphone and feature phone revenues were about equal, with smartphone revenues up 70 percent year-over-year. EA highlighted the growth of its freemium mobile games, pointing out that in December, the company’s games had a 10.5 percent market share on iOS devices and monetization had improved on Android.

EA added that PopCap had exceeded market expectations and had grown revenue by more than 30 percent on a trailing 12-month basis. While EA’s mobile revenues were up 19 percent year-over-year, the company’s handheld revenues dropped significantly. Revenues from Nintendo’s DS platform were $15 million, a 69 percent drop from $49 million year-over-year and revenues from Sony’s PSP were $14 million, a 36 percent drop over the same quarter a year earlier.

During the call, EA’s CEO John Riccitiello said the company is focused on extending its major brands  into what he called “year-round franchises” with both mobile and social tie-ins, following the approach the company has taken with FIFA and Battlefield.

Overall, the company’s total revenue from mobile and handhelds was down 24 percent year-on-year, dropping to $99 million. EA’s non-GAAP digital revenue grew by 79 percent year-over-year, growing to over a billion dollars over the past 12 months, an increase the company credited to strong growth in subscriptions, microtransactions and advertising, although later in the call EA revealed the majority of the company’s digital revenue was generated by EA’s own IP, and not offerings from PopCap and Playfish. GAAP net revenue from wireless, advertising, digital distribution and other internet sources was $103 million, up from $16 million at the same time last year.